From the newspaper "News of the Petrograd Council of Workers 'and Peasants' Deputies", May 14, 1919
From the newspaper "News of the Petrograd Council of Workers 'and Peasants' Deputies", May 14, 1919

Organization of power in the Crimean Soviet Republic (part three)


To disguise the real reasons for the creation of an “independent” Crimean republic, the newspaper “Izvestia Yalta Military-Revolutionary Committee” published an article “Reasons for the independence of Crimea.”

Emergency telegram about the occupation of Sevastopol by units of the Red Army. May 1919
Emergency telegram about the occupation of Sevastopol by units of the Red Army. May 1919

It stated: “The reasons for the creation of an independent Crimean Republic comrade. Kamenev explains as follows: The Russian Socialist Republic does not in any way aim to suppress the national aspirations of the population. Its sole purpose is a voluntary and free union of individual regions. Since in Crimea, where 40% of the population are Tatars, there are definitely some kind of economic relations, we decided to give the people of Crimea the opportunity to govern freely, until such time as they find it possible and necessary to unite with all of Russia. The creation of a special Crimean government will show the Tatar tribesmen, the Turks, that the Soviet government has no imperialist plans of aggression and guarantees the interests and freedom of the broad working masses. We already knowthat the best elements of Turkey see in the Soviet system the only way to satisfactorily solve the Turkish problem» [1] .

From the newspaper "News of the Petrograd Council of Workers 'and Peasants' Deputies", May 14, 1919
From the newspaper “News of the Petrograd Council of Workers ‘and Peasants’ Deputies”, May 14, 1919

To make this statement more likely, the number of Tatars living in the Crimea was deliberately exaggerated in this article. According to the 1917 census, there were only 25.8% Tatars on the peninsula, while Ukrainians and Russians together accounted for 49.2% [2] . It is safe to say that the republic in Crimea was to demonstrate the advantages of the Soviet system for the Muslim peoples of the East, especially for Turkey. However, the status of an independent republic was to serve the first and most important goal – to create a buffer in the fight against the Entente.

At the request of J. Stalin and L. Kamenev regarding the borders of the Crimean Republic, H. Rakovsky sent a telegram to Simferopol on May 1, stating: “The political borders of Crimea correspond to its geographical borders, ie they must pass through Perekop[3] .

The regional party conference in Simferopol approved the decision of the Central Committee of the RCP (B) on the establishment of the Crimean Republic. After its completion, the Bolshevik party organization of Crimea, together with representatives who came from the center, resumed discussions on the formation of the government.

On April 28, a meeting of the Revolutionary Committee took place. Considering the issue of candidates to fill the post of head of government, he offered Moscow a government composed of two Russians and two Muslims, and led Christie to ask [4] . However, L. Kamenev rejected this proposal.

During the negotiations between the Crimean Bolsheviks and representatives of the central government, a new composition of the future government of the Crimean Republic was formed. During a direct conversation between H. Rakovsky and P. Dybenko, the latter said: “ According to the agreement with Kamenev, the Crimean government should include Shlyapnikov (chairman), Ulyanov, Gaven, Idrisov, Gorodetsky, Wolfson (Davidov), Polonsky. , Memetov, Nazukin, Arab, Podonets and temporarily I. All included, except Shlyapnykova, the arrival is expected[5] . However, Shlyapnikov did not come to the Crimea.

Lev Kamenev
Lev Kamenev

On May 5, the government of the Crimean Republic was finally formed. It included: People’s Commissar for Health and Social Security D. Ulyanov (Acting Prime Minister), People’s Commissar for Internal Affairs Yu. Gaven, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs S. Memetov, People’s Commissar for Justice I. Arabsky, People’s Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs P. Dybenko, People’s Commissar for Education I. Nazukin, People’s Commissar for National Economy, Finance, Railways, Posts and Telegraphs J. Gorodetsky, People’s Commissar for Agriculture S. Idrisov, People’s Commissar for Labor I. Polonsky (Stepan), People’s Commissar for Food and Trade S. Wolfson (Davidov) ), RNA manager A. Bodaninsky [6] . Somewhat later, I. Firdevs became the People’s Commissar for National Affairs [7] .

Despite lengthy negotiations between the Crimean Bolsheviks and the RSFSR government commission consisting of L. Kamenev, M. Muranov, Zorin, O. Svidersky, and K. Voroshilov, the prime minister of the newly created republic was never appointed. Within the government, a conflict broke out between the chairman of the presidium of the Crimean regional party committee Yu. Gaven and P. Dybenko. The latter categorically opposed the combination of one person of the highest party and Soviet positions in the Crimean Republic. To quell the conflict, the commission decided to unite Dybenko with Gaven, creating something like a triumvirate led by D. Ulyanov [8] .

Entry of the Red Army to Sevastopol
Entry of the Red Army to Sevastopol

Many efforts were made to unite the work of these completely different people, to reconcile their views on exactly how to manage the peninsula, H. Rakovsky reported. Mr. Dybenko was included in the Crimean government only thanks to his guarantee. On May 6, there was a conversation on direct communication between Rakovsky and Dybenko, in which the head of the SNK of the USSR informed the latter about the conditions under which he became part of the Crimean SSR [9] .

During May, Moscow continued to consider the issue of the head of the Crimean government. The Politburo of the Central Committee of the RCP (B) has repeatedly raised this issue, but it has not been possible to find a “reliable” person who would not assume “local separatism” and be guided exclusively by the directives of the center. At the already mentioned meeting of the Politburo on May 28, the issue ” On the candidate for the post of the head of the Crimean government” was considered again . During the discussion, it was decided to send to Crimea “recalled from Kazan, T. D. Malyutin[10]. But this candidate did not arrive in Crimea either. A permanent head of the Crimean government has not been appointed throughout the existence of the Crimean Republic. Acting Prime Minister D. Ulyanov was acting, but Moscow did not dare to appoint him to this position. During his entire stay on the peninsula, D. Ulyanov suffered from drunkenness [11]. Because of this, he could not fully perform important duties for the Central Committee of the RCP (B) of the Crimean Republic.

On May 7, a meeting of the Crimean Regional Committee of the CP (B) U was held, which was attended by: members of the regional committee J. Gorodetsky, I. Polonsky (Stepan), Shuster, I. Shulman, Yasha and Peters (M. Gidalevich), members of the party Yu. Gaven, O. Aleksakis, Semyon (Dzhigenti), Mirny, V. Khaikevich, S. Wolfson (Davidov). It was decided to hold re-elections of the regional committee and add new members. The regional committee additionally included Yu. Gaven, O. Aleksakis, Mirny and S. Dzhigenti (Semyon). The meeting elected an executive bureau, which included: J. Gaven, I. Shulman and O. Aleksakis [11] . Thus, from now on the Crimean regional committee of the RCP (B) included 11 people: Yu. Gaven, M. Zhuravlyov, Shuster, I. Shulman, J. Gorodetsky, I. Polonsky (Stepan), Eicher, V. Kirov, O. Aleksakis, Mirny and S. Dzhigenti (Semen) [12].

Dmitry Ulyanov
Dmitry Ulyanov

On April 16, the Simferopol Revolutionary Committee decided to convene a congress of councils of workers’ and Red Army deputies. It was assumed that the congress would be attended by one representative from each party that recognized the Soviet government [13] . Revolutionary Committee decided that the election of deputies to expire no later than 13 May [14] . However, the Bolsheviks did not have time to convene a general congress of Soviets of Crimea. The Bolshevik government maintained its extraordinary character throughout the 75 days of the Crimean SSR’s existence. Councils were not restored, the functions of the National Committee (emergency commission – ed.) Were transferred to a special department of the Military Revolutionary Council of the Crimean Republic [15] .

The relationship between the party-Soviet authorities and the Crimean People’s Commissariat during the spring and summer of 1919 was quite specific. There were often cases of mutual misunderstanding. Based on the idea that the NK is the highest authority on the peninsula, and only it has the right to organize all Crimean life, the army Chekists often allowed themselves to interfere in the work of all other authorities. Thus, a letter dated April 28, sent to the frontline NK from the Simferopol Military Revolutionary Committee, is preserved in the Crimean archives. Last angrily demanded: ” Because all the supreme civil power belongs exclusively to the Simferopol Military Revolutionary Committee, we will continue to do guidance on issues unrelated to your business circle[16] .

Christian Rakovsky
Christian Rakovsky

After the proclamation of the Crimean Republic, the Simferopol Revolutionary Committee began the process of bringing order to the existence of a large number of frontline NK. He sent to all county and municipal revolutionary committees and councils of deputies of the Crimean telegram demanded: ” All pryfrontovi Tax on the Crimean Soviet republics are considered illegal and invalid, and therefore proposed to immediately come to the city of Simferopol in the special department of the Crimean Soviet Army to obtain further instructions. All issues special character knows a special department at the headquarters of the Crimean Soviet army ” [17] .

Tetyana Bykova, Ph.D., researcher at the Institute of History of Ukraine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

  1. Garchev PI, Ovod VV On the creation of the Crimean Soviet Republic in 1919 // Ukrainian Historical Journal (hereinafter – UIZh). – 1992. – № 4. – P. 26.
  2. Benenson ME Economic essays of Crimea. – Simferopol, 1919. – P. 6.
  3. Cit. for the book: Dubko Yu.V. Problems of the Crimean statehood (1918-1919) // Problems of the political history of Crimea: results and prospects. – Proceedings of the scientific-practical conference (Simferopol, May 24-25, 1996) – Simferopol, 1996. – P. 37.
  4. DAARK. – F.-P. 1. – Op. 1. – Ref. 4. – Arc. 20.
  5. Only there. – F.-P. 150. – Op. 1. – Ref. 51. – Arc. 81.
  6. The composition of the Crimean governments during the civil war // Izvestiya Krymskogo republikanskogo krayevedcheskogo muzeya. – 1995. – № 11. – P. 14; The struggle for Soviet power in the Crimea. – Collection of documents and materials. – Vol. 2. – Simferopol, 1957. – P. 151-152.
  7. Zarubin AG, Zarubin VG No winners. From the history of the civil war in the Crimea. – Simferopol, 2008. – P. 503.
  8. Cit. for the book: Garchev PI, Ovod VV The work is specified. – P. 28.
  9. DAARK. – F.-P. 150. – Op. 1. – Ref. 51. – Arc. 81.
  10. From the archives of the party // Proceedings of the Central Committee of the CPSU. – 1989. – № 12. – P. 163.
  11. V. Obolensky wrote in this regard: “Doctor Ulyanov retained his qualities and shortcomings as chairman of the Crimean People’s Commissar. He drank even more than before; he did not show any authority, but as a good-natured man he always interceded before the emergency for all for whom he was asked “// Obolensky VA Crimea under Denikin // Crimean archive (Simferopol). – 2001. – № 7. – P. 164.
  12. State Archives of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (hereinafter – DAARK). – F.-P. 150. – Op. 1. – Ref. 51. – Arc. 220.
  13. Only there. – Arc. 50-51.
  14. Only there. – F.-R. 1733. – Op. 1. – Ref. 173. – Arc. 21-21 vol.
  15. Only there. – Arc. 111 stars
  16. Zarubin AG, Zarubin VG No winners. From the history of the civil war in the Crimea. – Simferopol, 2008. – P. 510.
  17. DAARK. – F.-R. 1733. – Op. 1. – Ref. 169. – Arc. 186.
  18. Only there. – Arc. 388.

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

The project was implemented with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation

Tetiana Bikova

Candidate of Historical Sciences, Scientist of the Institute of History of Ukraine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: